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The difference between situps and crunches to train your abs



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This is your quick training tip that will help you learn in a few moments how to work smarter so you can get straight to your workout.

Regardless of whether you did this, if you have a six-pack or want to shape one, chances are that you will do crunches. Or situps. Or both. And you are probably making them obsessive because few movements target the abdominal muscles more effectively than these two exercises. But contrary to what you may have heard about the barbell, they are not "practically the same exercise". They each have their own subtleties – and you will get slightly different results depending on what you do.

This does not mean that the two trains are not similar. For both, you need to start on your back (face up) with your knees bent, your feet flat and your fingertips lightly touching behind your ears. But the crisis is an isolation exercise. When you do it, you just lift your head and shoulders off the floor and almost exclusively attack your rectus abdominis (i.e., abdominal muscles). When you do the situp, you lift your entire torso and attack your abs and other core muscles as well as your hip flexors and rectus femoris (one of the heads of your quadriceps muscles).

That might make the situp seem like a superior exercise – but there's a catch. The movement is extremely difficult to do without rounding your lower back, and this increases the strain on your lumbar spine. As a result, trainers tend to prefer crunching over situp in their training programs to save you the pain.

Your move: Skip the situp if you can, but don't focus solely on the crunch when forming a six-pack.

Your rectus abdominis is like any other muscle in your body. In order to achieve its full growth and definition potential, it has to be worked on with a variety of exercises from different perspectives. Do you need inspiration? Check out 22 of the best steps to chisel your center.


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